Thursday, April 28, 2011
I don't know how long it has been since I pointed my car toward Rising's Corner. I used to ride along with my Mom to the orchard that was there when I was young. Every fall we would go to buy Macintosh apples for applesauce. We would go into the cold storage, where the crisp, sweet, smell of fresh apples greeted us. Fall in Connecticut.
But, today I have taken the wrong road, overshooting Rising's Corner and crossing out of fall memories and into spring in Massachusetts. I thought I should turn around, but I resisted the easy route home and continued on. Over the mountain, following the unfamiliar.
I came around a bend, passed an out of season Christmas tree farm and there it was. The place I meant to go all along, never lost.
And as these moments come, so they go. Ephemeral, fleeting. Quietly, they wither and return to warmer ground. And there they sleep. A breath of life. A whisper laid fresh for another time.
Maddie and I stood on ladders one spring day a couple of years ago and changed it's color from serious gray to it's more fanciful color palette. We swept it out and then laid a new grass green indoor/outdoor carpet. We washed it's windows and laid a cheerful welcome mat on it's tiny front step.
If you look closely, you can see that Maddie has parked a small garden cart outside of her cottage in the woods. It must have been garden day. Sometimes it is her bike, or a wagon that is the preferred mode of transportation.
And if you close your eyes and listen very closely, you can hear Maddie singing. Her tune floating out of an open window and up, up into this warm spring day. Coaxing the tree buds into leaves.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Fairy bouquets, star shaped bits of pure light dotted with magic, peek from under leaf and rock.
Leafy fingers stretch and reach from black moist spring earth.
Who waved their magic wand? Who blew their fairy dust in my path?
Be careful where you step....
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
These leaves may simply be happenstance. A quick reminder of seasons past intermingled with the crisp newness of spring and new life.
Or maybe they are a reminder of the beauty found in the lines and color of age when set against the simple vibrant smoothness of youth.
Together, in contrast, leaf to leaf a beauty all it's own.
The moss and lichen have claimed the structure for their own, adding new color and textures that no civil engineer could have planned. There are cement barriers on either side of the bridge. As with everything here, I am sure they had meaning at one time. Perhaps reminding forgetful travelers that this was no longer the way home.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
There are secrets in the garden.
Small and vibrant tiny blue bells
Ring in fairy songs
In tune with golden treasures.
New life moves
Rustles in the leaves
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Last fall, my sister came for a week-end visit and on a whim we decided to visit the Pennsylvania Colonial Plantation located down the street from my house in Ridley Creek State Park. It was a beautiful afternoon. We took Maddie with us. The three of us spent our time walking through the past. We visited with weavers and blacksmiths, furniture makers and farmers, all dressed in period costume and full of colonial information. We wandered around the barnyard marveling at the sizable pigs lounging in the mud and took our turn at feeding the chickens.
Finally, we made our way up to the farmhouse. A fire was burning in the parlor hearth taking the chill out of our pink cheeks. And there seated at the large farmhouse table in the center of the room sat a beautiful little colonial child. She glanced up as we entered, and seeing Maddie, she immediately issued an invitation to join her as she colored her pictures of cows and horses. I asked her if it was ok for me to take her picture. She stopped her work for a moment, and gave me the briefest of grins. I asked her name. "Thankful, " she replied.
And so as I close the first 100 days of the most challenging and fullfilling work I have ever undertaken, I can not think of a better image and sentiment to share. Thankful. Yes, indeed.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The May Apples open like so many umbrellas, popping up and unfurling it's single sheltering leaf. Later in the month, it will bloom, a single white flower, will linger there for a bit, like a southern belle under her parisol on a lovely spring day.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I know every inch of ground. I can show you where the groundhog lives, where the deer travel up and down the bank on their way to the creek.
I have allowed volunteers to sprout between the heavy Avondale bluestone that I pieced together into a rustic patio out under the 80 year old cedar trees, just behind the 100 year old boxwood. Baby hosta, brunnera, and heuchera peek their tiny green heads up out of the soil that has been fertilized with cedar needles.
There is a carpet of moss that covers the rocky soil out behind the garage. This time of year the entire expanse flushes emerald. It covers rock and root. If you take your shoes off the softness gives way to cool, moist spring soil. The last of winter held under that green.
Out by the drive, just off the back deck stands an ancient lilac. It is in pretty rough shape. Every year as I do my early rounds, I wonder if it will make another full season. Part of it is hollow and broken. I have had to prune back sizable branches in an attempt to secure another year intact. But this lilac is full of surprises. It has already begun to send it's little green leaves out to greet me, and tucked away in her hollow a piece of whimsy lives. A welcome, gentle grin that even I did not expect.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
We ambled our way along the creek bed for a while, marveling at the changes of season that had occurred since our last visit. The skunk cabbage are reaching skyward now, puncturing stubborn, thick oak and maple leaves that had blocked the journey toward the sun. The emerald moss punctuates the brown and gray of fallen trees and rock set free from the winter earth.
Maddie showed me where and how to cross the creek. She hops from stone to stone with ease. I keep my feet dry somehow. I wandered away for a while and when I returned I found Maddie barefoot in midstream, hot on the trail of a crayfish that had darted out from the rocks along the bank. The dog had gone to greet a neighbors Jack Russell that had decided to investigate our presence.
All along I have planted my tripod. Here to examine and record the swirling line and rough texture of a log. There, to shoot the burgundy margin of an emergent leaf. All worthy subjects.
We fanned out on our way back up the bank toward the house. Maddie went off to explore the old ruin that is nestled in the gully. The dog ran up and down the bank four times before I even made it to the incline. I wandered into a patch of briar requiring me to slow down and place my steps carefully. I stopped, looked down. I was surrounded by milky white stars floating above speckled leaves and red stems. Heaven come earth on the first brilliant, warm spring day.
Monday, April 4, 2011
The most amazing thing about this music is, that to this day, it still surprises me. I am amazed at the poetry, the complexity of the harmonies, the sophistication of the arrangements, the experimentation and utilization of instruments. But mostly, I am surprised and amazed at how many Beatles songs I actually know the words to.
Tonight I went to a show at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. A local band performed two Beatles albums, Rubber Soul and Revolver, all the way through, with a little Abbey Road and a bit of the White Album thrown in for good measure.
At one point, my daughter, Maddie, turned to me and said, "Wow, Mom, you know every word to every song! Do you know ALL the Beatles songs?" I just smiled ear to ear and said, "Yes, Maddie. I believe I do." She smiled back and we danced and sang on.
Friday, April 1, 2011
And then, today, nature put me in my place. Just another April Fool.
I love that he is most often depicted as a child. The idea of innocence and serenity taking the weary through all states of existence from Hell to Nirvana. Waiting with tiny hands for each rebirth.